Farmfest 2012 will be held next week near Redwood Falls. The state's largest farm-related gathering, in which Extension has a strong presence, has an emphasis on national and state agricultural and rural policy issues.
Thursday, August 9, is an especially visible day for Extension and the University. The morning forum, Innovation in Agriculture: Opportunities from the University will feature opening comments by Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota president. In the afternoon, families from 76 Minnesota counties will be recognized for their contributions to agriculture, our economy and rural communities.
While farming is a big business in Minnesota, the business of farming in Minnesota is family driven. According to USDA statistics, 95 percent of Minnesota farms are family-owned. In addition to their economic impact, farm families are the main drivers improving the fabric of many rural communities. They are the ones who invest time in making a difference by serving on township boards, hospital boards, school boards and church councils.
Despite all the good they do, farm families often do not receive the recognition they deserve. The University of Minnesota started the Farm Family of the Year program some 30 years ago to recognize successful farm families for their impact on our economy and rural communities. We are proud to lead this effort to recognize the contributions of farm families.
Profiles of the 2012 honorees and information on the recognition event can be found on the University's farm family website.